Sacred Spaces

Sacred Spaces

August 30, 2018

Uncertainty remains. My womb may or may not be empty. I think of all the women who’ve sat on the toilet over the years, imagining that sacred space inside of them. Hoping one way. Hoping another.

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STORM SHELTERS

STORM SHELTERS

August 29, 2018

Bethany Maile's creative nonfiction "Storm Shelters" appears in Issue No. 48: Exposure.

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Friends for the Journey

Friends for the Journey

August 28, 2018

Luci is part of the legacy that is L’Engle’s body of work. Listening to the women who loved the real-life L’Engle reminisce, reminded me that the work of the artist is not, and cannot be done in isolation. She was a brilliant writer, yes. But she was also a grief-stricken mother, a loving grandmother, a loyal friend.

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Musings from a First-Generation Writer

Musings from a First-Generation Writer

August 23, 2018

“She would have checked out the book like a regular patron,” the narrator explained, “if only she had the proper documentation to get a library card. She cried when she got home, then began to read the book that night.” I didn’t take any more books from the library.

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Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017

Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017

August 22, 2018

Chaun Ballard's poem "Minya, Egypt: May 26, 2017" appears in Issue No. 48: Exposure.

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Dreaming in Swiss

Dreaming in Swiss

August 21, 2018

I’ve always found truth in dreams that I sometimes couldn’t find in real life. The life of a dream pulses on its own, as if all it needs to do in order to be is to project itself onto my being. Writing is akin to dreaming while awake. 

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How Ten Days of Silent Meditation Changed My Life

How Ten Days of Silent Meditation Changed My Life

August 16, 2018

Sadness passes, happiness is fleeting, and neither sustain your emotional health. Change is constant, and when I use breathing techniques it's easier to meditate on the idea that pain, sadness, ecstasy, and joy are only moments that also live and die.

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A Year of No Buying: A Second Quarter Report: In the Black

A Year of No Buying: A Second Quarter Report: In the Black

August 14, 2018

In our house, 2018 is A Year of No Buying....I can’t say a bad word about it. And for the most part, my family feels the same. Or I thought they did. But then my husband went and bought a car. A gorgeous black luxury car that is, as he would like me to point out, a hybrid.

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Midsummer's Eve in Indiana

Midsummer's Eve in Indiana

August 09, 2018

My neighbor—an older woman I’d heard was a respected environmentalist in town—let her yard grow into this wild miniature forest. Her cats often peeked through the tiger lilies, their eyes wide as though they were continually surprised....I envied the ease with which she strolled through her yard, her dress like a comfortable pillowcase wrapped around her body, her hair gray and unkempt. 

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Reconciling Humility and Self-Worth in the Age of Ego

Reconciling Humility and Self-Worth in the Age of Ego

August 07, 2018

The light you will gather and spread in this world is uniquely tinted, and if you choose not to shine this light, in the words of the great Martha Graham, it would be lost to all of us. You are a child of creation. Shine what you have, and be brave.

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Mystery and Familiarity in Arches National Park

Mystery and Familiarity in Arches National Park

August 02, 2018

While entering Arches National Park, it is near impossible to stand beneath these natural rock formations and still be worried by the generalities of life. Life, as you have known it, is suddenly on pause. Your life transitions into snapshots as you wander the land in awe, feigning focus on putting one foot in front of the other while your eyes are bound to the monoliths that breach the sky.

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The Writing Impulse

The Writing Impulse

July 31, 2018

I find I write a lot of stuff like this. Moments of humiliation, large and small. Attacks against which we are incapable of defending ourselves, for whatever reason. And here’s why: once they’re written down, they’re different. I’ve gotten addicted to the alchemy of writing, where those moments of pain and humiliation become beautiful and useful.

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The Worst Dog That Ever Dogged

The Worst Dog That Ever Dogged

July 26, 2018

 I grieve and yet I celebrate. My heart breaks and is stitched back together with the semi-toothless grin of a 5-year-old. I ache and yet I rejoice at all the gifts of the past 12 years, of who my family has become in that time.

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The Meaning is in the Waiting

The Meaning is in the Waiting

July 24, 2018

I’ve always thought of waiting as a passive thing. As a sign of inefficiency, uselessness, the lack of any sense of calling or progress....But what if waiting is a space we are led into, difficult as it might be? What if waiting is a lens, through which we actively engage with the world? 

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Finding a Vocabulary of the Heart: What Poetry Has Taught Me about Prayer

Finding a Vocabulary of the Heart: What Poetry Has Taught Me about Prayer

July 19, 2018

So if poetry, like all other art, is an aesthetic statement, how can it also be prayer?...All I know is that when I began to pen my laments, not only did the poems emerge as prayers, but these prayers were wilder, more daring, and more honest than any prayer I might have fumbled through on my knees. 

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Show Your Work: How Do You Know What You Know?

Show Your Work: How Do You Know What You Know?

July 17, 2018

Writers, our readers aren’t going to find us out. We’re not playing pretend. Our writing isn’t a performance. We’re simply in conversation with our readers, and we’re showing them how we know what we know at this point in time.

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Sharing the Couch: A Reflection on Physical Hospitality

Sharing the Couch: A Reflection on Physical Hospitality

July 12, 2018

Deep love must intersect with the physical, and the point of contact is hospitality: sharing space, sharing time, sharing stories. It’s putting yourself aside so a friend can breathe deep and stretch out full length. Love is the invitation: “stay.”

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Editors Ruminate: On Haunting

Editors Ruminate: On Haunting

July 10, 2018

The four long poems in this issue will haunt you. You will see in them the faces of children who have been relegated to sacrifice zones; how the smallest measure of matter becomes the destroyer of worlds; how a home buckles under the weight of its history.

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On Winning the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

On Winning the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

June 28, 2018

 It came to me one dark evening on the bus during a gray and sloppy Chicago winter that felt like it would never end...That this piece about loss won something, won Ruminate’s VanderMey Nonfiction Prize no less, was quite a shock, quite the ironic twist.

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The Parameters of Need

The Parameters of Need

June 26, 2018

We all face varying necessities...but we also contend with our desires—the hunger to thrive. The nature of our own ambivalence sends us off on endless searches. And we each, when we’re self-honest, find ourselves in this territory: segueing from wanting what we truly need, to an equivocal choice of “needing” what we badly want. 

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To Remember a Stranger: On the Hospitality of Thought

To Remember a Stranger: On the Hospitality of Thought

June 21, 2018

Surely, I believe what the old Black spirituals say: Even when discarded by the world, there is one who holds us in hand or in mind, and this is sufficient. But it must also mean something to be held in the memory of people, however faulty...

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On Winning the Kalos Art Prize

On Winning the Kalos Art Prize

June 19, 2018

The Noli Me Tangere images published in Ruminate show the Filipino sights and textures that made up my childhood–from jeepneys to religious processions.  The Kalos Art Prize offered me a way to announce the deep and heartfelt relationship I have with my extended family in my birth country. 

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Of JAGGED LITTLE PILL and Possibility

Of JAGGED LITTLE PILL and Possibility

June 14, 2018

Yes, I had witnessed the tears falling every night. I felt the energy whoosh through the room like a cyclone. I couldn’t believe anyone could walk away from that show and not be transformed. And I know that Diane also felt and understood the transformative power of theater. 

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Eyes to See the Orange Trees

Eyes to See the Orange Trees

June 12, 2018

I remember when the sight of the white doves fluttering around the Seville Cathedral would soothe me with thoughts of world peace, Aphrodite and the Holy Spirit. A dozen years later, I lump the doves in with the pigeons: birds of a feather. . . rats with wings.

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Mother-Woman

Mother-Woman

June 08, 2018

I do my best, but sometimes my best is not enough. I can’t sooth one because I’m feeding another; I lose my temper in the tempest of yelling, and add my voice to the chaos. I feed them corndogs instead of cauliflower. 

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The Steady Climb and the Sweetness

The Steady Climb and the Sweetness

June 05, 2018

We agree to one rule: we are here together, but we journey alone. I make a personal rule: no breaks, just constant motion. Slow and steady, or even slower and steady – but always steady.

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Why I Write Sad Stories

Why I Write Sad Stories

May 31, 2018

Every day seems to unearth yet another story of violence and abuse, repeating the never-ending pattern of the powerful stealing from the disadvantaged their few remaining possessions...But the truth is that you don’t have to do a lot of searching to find the beauty in this world. You just have to have your eyes open.

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Our House Finches

Our House Finches

May 29, 2018

When Tim first chose Orthodoxy, I knew he was a heretic. Gently, mind you—I mused as if rescuing a fallen baby finch from our oregano plant beneath the window blind. “There, there, Dear,” I imagined one day saying to him. “Everybody takes faith detours; just glad you got your thinking back in line with mine.”

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Being Ready: The Myth of the Muse

Being Ready: The Myth of the Muse

May 24, 2018

I have eaten my weight in words. I have a book deadline, and I’m not at all close to finishing in time. For someone like me, who usually thrives on a deadline, it’s disconcerting. I have not been avoiding the task of writing this latest book, I promise.

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Rocks

Rocks

May 22, 2018

My children struggle to accept the inevitability of death—I think because it’s so absurd. To be born, to grow and learn and live, only to stop? It might be the most ridiculous thing they have ever heard.

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Testament

Testament

May 17, 2018

On this bright midwinter morning, face after face shines with familiarity, including several people who have not crossed my view in years. Whether or not we are currently connected doesn’t matter; even if we knew each other best at 15, that is enough.

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Again and Again

Again and Again

May 15, 2018

One breath. One coin. One baby step. Again and again and again until we turn our heads and see a thousand steps in our rearview––until we see how we’ve changed...It's okay. Tomorrow, we begin again.

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Poems for Mother's Day

Poems for Mother's Day

May 11, 2018

In celebration of mothers and mother figures, we share three poems from past issues of Ruminate.

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In the Refuge of Wings

In the Refuge of Wings

May 10, 2018

It was in the final hours of my stay that I felt closest to quiet. The moments of greatest stillness lasted perhaps only seconds. But they seemed to contain and shed grace over the weekend’s more numerous experiences of sticky heat and internal noise and the longing for clarity.

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To Stop and Consider What it Means

To Stop and Consider What it Means

May 08, 2018

Someone once told me that when you bite your nails, it means something. It means something bad. That every time you stick your fingers in your mouth, you’re not just enjoying the chewiness of your flesh, the clean peel of the skin, the crisp cut of your nail that clicks down with your teeth. 

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